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Opening the Gates

Opening the Gates tells the story of the historic Polish concert tour of composer and singer Shlomo Carlebach, and his unconventional efforts to heal the deep-seated animosity that existed between Jews and Poles after the Holocaust. 

“The singing rabbi” had a mystical belief in the power of music to heal, and an almost naïve belief that simply telling people that they were good would be transforming.  His message that one could be a good Jew and also care for the Polish people encouraged many closeted Jews to come out of hiding.   

When asked about his goal for the concert tour, Carlebach replied: “I wish to shake hands with every man, woman and child in Poland.”  His comment received extensive press attention and he was widely received by the Polish population.  The majority of the people attending his concerts were not Jewish.

Rabbi Carlebach’s role in “opening the gates” of Polish-Jewish reconciliation was second only to that of Pope John Paul 11 who prayed in a synagogue, referred to Jews as “our older brothers of faith,” and visited Auschwitz.  Director Menachem Daum finds it fitting that a year after Carlebach died, a group of priests sang Shlomo’s song of peace during the visit of the Pope to the U.S.

How To Donate: 

All donations for the production and distribution of Opening the Gates are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

If you would like to make a donation online, please click here:

Donate to the Hartley Film Foundation

Hartley Update 

Co-directors Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky are in production on the film.

For More Information 

For more information, you can contact Sarah Masters. Managing Director of Hartley Film Foundation at:

Phone: 800 937 1819 or 203 226 9500

E-mail: [email protected]

Website:  www.hartleyfoundation.org

If you would like to explore films with similar themes, please click on Judaism.